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Help in promoting my educational channel...

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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Guest » Wed May 15, 2019 2:01 pm

Zukan wrote:I don't know how to approach this Martin. I abhor blagging achievements and when I do start to put something together it ends up being a Tolstoy affair.

My view is that if you feel uncomfortable doing it then it probably won't be convincing anyway. I'm the same by the way.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Eddy Deegan » Wed May 15, 2019 2:04 pm

Zukan wrote: When I was creating Propellerheads Reason videos I had 30-40000 views per video. Now, with the focus being on audio production, I get views in the tens or hundreds.

Bingo ... that's a great example of how to use one to boost the other. If you did a Reason video about how to create some cool patch, groove or other, then towards the end of it you start applying some of the EQ, Compression, Mastering etc. techniques that are in the audio hub, you have a good opportunity to convert some of those eyes that came for the Reason stuff.

"At this point, we've got our groove and we've improved the way it sounds by using some of the techniques used in high end audio production. If you'd like to know more about these techniques and how to apply them to your recordings/beats/grooves/dubs, then we have a comprehensive set of video guides on the Production Hub that can elevate the quality of all your output (ie: not just Reason) to a whole new level. Once learned, these skills work on anything.".

Zukan wrote:Ideally, and something I have been after for a long time, I would like to take on a marketing partner who can handle all these issues, create product descriptions, handle marketing etc...but no takers.

After my company grew to the point we had a marketing requirement beyond what we could do in the gaps, we used a student fresh out of marketing college (in fact, I think he might even have still been in it and was working with us as part of his final year project).

Cheap as chips, he was happy, we were happy. I had to re-write most of what he'd written but he did the market-y thinking, I just formalised the output. It worked pretty well ... might be worth talking to an educational establishment or two to see if there are any student programs you could get involved in. They are inexperienced but freshly trained, and between their marketing stuff and your experience that might get you forward a bit.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Martin Walker » Wed May 15, 2019 2:48 pm

Hi again Zuke,

I've just been looking more closely at the ADSR tutorials (whose pink noise mixing tutorials got the 50,000 views, even though yours came out months earlier), and it struck me that the first thing you see on their website is a huge list of genres from which to choose:

https://www.adsrsounds.com/tutorials/

I'd like to bet that (much like most other websites organised by genre) there's an awful lot of overlap, in that each video gets tagged with half a dozen or more different genres, but this approach does instantly imply that there's absolutely LOADS of stuff to look at.

Your web site also has loads of stuff to look at, but (as someone else mentioned earlier) if you can take someone immediately by the hand and guide them to topics that are likely to interest them then you could be halfway to a sale.

Only trouble with this approach is that you need a web designer on hand to keep refreshing things, but Eddy Deegan's comment about a student could be worth following up in this capacity too - with so much existing content on your web site, it would be a great feather in the cap of someone wanting to make a mark near the beginning of their web design career.


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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby CS70 » Wed May 15, 2019 3:15 pm

A tough one. There's no recipe in business, otherwise everybody would get rich. There's things that improve your chances and then there's either the lucky break or the continuous, grinding improvement year after year, but starting with (and keeping above) a no-loss baseline.

Tougher still as a one-man gig because you need to work many angles to really improve your chances. Not impossible, at all, but it's a mindset - one that's seldom found in musicians. And it's a hell of a hard work, much harder than any "regular" work.

First of all, who's your intended audience? Absolute beginners, mid-level, experts? That's the basis: the same content can be brilliant or awful depending on who's listening.

Second, is that intended audience big enough?Say you capture 0.1% of the total - would be enough to sustain your business?

My guess would be that people interested in generic courses on subject X are not total beginners (too much commitment for something you ain't yet sure it's gonna be important to you) nor obviously experts at your level (unless you run master classes), but the large bunch of people that's got a bit further, found out they like it and would like to know more, at least for a while. A few interested souls, a few occasional punters, but you cant count on these.

Remember that these people by definition often can't really judge how good a product is - because they don't really yet understand it. Therefore they use proxies: brand, glamour, looks, group thinking, other's opinions etc. People choosing Harvard have never followed lessons at Harvard before (doh!): they go there for the reputation, the implied promise of future success and, to a point, the general look of the place (it bloody looks the part!).

That means that, if you're targeting these people, the quality of the proxies will be as important as the quality of the content (sound awful, innit? Welcome to normal, not-quality obsessed people :-D)

Third, how's the competition for that audience? It's good to have some - the field breakers are seldom successful - but too much competition and you can't survive unless you find or conjure an edge. You have to decide whether or not to stay in that market or try to find another one (but still viable, as per above).

Fourth, is there an edge to be found? Or can you make up edges which are easy to communicate and cannot be copied? In other words, how close to a commodity is your product?

So: find an audience (and ensure it's viable assuming you capture a very small part of it, at least initially, and not over competitive); find your edge; pay attention to the proxies as much as you do to the product itself (that's surprisingly the tough one for any creator!); invest financially in promoting your edge to your audience.

You still need luck - we all do - but still is more of a plan that if you don't think about any of that stuff.

Take Netflix online service: potential audience, enormous - everyone liking movies; competition, relatively limited when they started; proxies - pretty good; edge - amazing, when they started - you don't ave to go rent a video tape or dvd or whatever and bring it back. Luck; yes, they happened to launch in sync with widespread adoption of broadband, which allows theirs service to exist at all.

Now from what I read your main edge is your own experience and nearness with well known acts. That's what distinguishes you from the 16 years old kid with Cubase and a cheap Chinese mic.

What audience will care most for that? Hard to say, but my feeling would be that the lower-knowledge level won't care too much. No matter which names you can drop, in today's billion-information-pieces-world these names won't mean crap to a lot of people. Even if u worked with Madonna. Heck, when Paul McCartney worked with Kayne West, loads of kids had never heard of the former!

So you want to aim to people already a little in the know. Finally, is that audience viable? Not sure, it's your bet. How about the competition? Same same, it needs more research than I have.

An idea could be master classes only - aiming to a smaller market but far more informed (for example I've occasionally looked at the "Mix with the Masters" free videos, and found them interesting, even if I'd unlikely pay for them).

I also like Red Bladder's idea: bundle with something else! The "Mix with the Masters" videos are, insofar I understand, sophisticated props to sell hopefuls a week residency experience with an actual mixing engineer, or associated events. You could try to organize similar events. Or come out with even wackier ideas - what about an audio show across the UK? FInd a bus! :D

If all of that sounds like hard work it's because it is :D

Promotion is expensive and no matter your financial resources, they're a drop in the ocean of the possible ways of doing it... so it works only so long you have a clear idea of what you are promoting, to whom and why..

Best of luck!
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby The Red Bladder » Wed May 15, 2019 3:34 pm

If I put my consultant's hat on, I often get approached by people with online businesses that are failing to perform. I nearly always do not want to deal with them, because there is just too much wrong to even begin to start to fix things. (That and the fact that most of them are already skint!) Rather than criticise what is going wrong in this case, here are the main points I find myself having to make again and again and again . . .

1. Platform. If the website in on some "Create your own website for free!" platform, or is using one of those website builders that allow anybody to just pull-down items in easy steps, it has to come off and be properly hosted. Google doesn't like them! This means starting all over again and from scratch. And when the client says that they don't want to start all over again, that's when we part company (as we do for points 2 to 10).

2. Quality. The website must be assessed by a professional for mistakes, dead links, bad copy, mobile-phone-compatibility, ease of navigation, logical online shop and many other things besides. Very often, the website is a DIY job using unsuitable plugins and apps and some ghastly ready-made theme and needs to be scrapped.

3. SEO. Again, a professional needs to be brought in to optimise the site for SEO. What used to score well, no longer applies, so a DIY approach is doomed from the start. A basic 4-page Wordpress site with good SEO can cost as little as £400, so it is well-worth getting things done properly.

4. Content. Smokey The Bear says "Only YOU can prevent forest fires!" Same applies - only YOU can create good content. Text. Pictures. It's down to the client to create these things! This is all part of SEO - good texts trigger those all-important search engine keywords.

5. Social Media. If you are supposed to be reaching Joe Public (and you are not selling automatic forging machines at $500,000 each to customers that you direct-mail) you must be all over SM. TwitFace, MyFace, FaceOff, YouBlog, InstaCrap and LinkedTube - every day and in every way, you must engage with all the above if you are to create that emotional proximity that turns click-throughs into fans and fans into customers. It worked for Donald Trump, Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj - so what are you waiting for?

6. Faces and Names. The client MUST have an 'About Us!' page - and there have to be faces and names! I mentioned 'Funky Dude' in another (business) thread - he runs a very large investment fund. His name and his face and the names and faces of his team all over their website, together with an interesting and well-written blog. Once again - we are talking about emotional proximity here and without that, you ain't got no fans to turn into customers.

7. Videos. Oh Boy! Everybody and their mothers-in-law are today a Cecil B. de-Hi-Def. Except they are not! Nearly all online videos stink. They ramble on, they are far too long. They are unscripted. They are poorly lit. The sound is dreadful. The camera is hand-held. The mistakes just keep on coming! How-to videos often do not even show the face of the person doing the VO.

8. Call to Action! Kenn Dodd once said, "Who'd have thought that one day we'd see the end to a DFS sale!" Except we never shall! "This week only 50% off!" "2 for the price of 1!" "Just £1 each! As long as stocks last!" "When they're gone, they're gone!" These 'calls-to-action' help push the wavering customer over the line!

9. Money-back-guarantee! What it says on the bloody tin. If the product is generic, i.e. not custom made, the client is FAR more likely to press the 'Buy it Now!' button if he/she is told that if they don't like it, they can always return it and get a full refund.

10. Softly-softly! When I was a furniture salesman (for a while!) the shop used to have a sort of glass funnel by way of an entrance and we put the most enticing things right there in the funnel windows. I stood across the street and watched the funnel. When punters entered the funnel but had not yet gone through the shop doors, I came over, as if I had been on an errand and as I passed them, with a big smile on my face, I invited them in. Each step was a soft enticement to take the next step. So much for free. So much more for free, but with an email. So much as a special introductory offer - and so on! Softly-softly-catchy-monkey!

So there are my ten things that nearly always need fixing in online businesses that are struggling. Miss one out and the business will fail. It's that simple. But getting all ten right is no guarantee of success either!

There has to be a genuine demand for the product or service in the first place! If the punters aren't lined up ten-deep at your door - no chance!

"Build a better mouse-trap and they will come!" only works if the people actually want to catch mice!
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Zukan » Wed May 15, 2019 3:43 pm

Martin Walker wrote:Hi again Zuke,

I've just been looking more closely at the ADSR tutorials (whose pink noise mixing tutorials got the 50,000 views, even though yours came out months earlier), and it struck me that the first thing you see on their website is a huge list of genres from which to choose:

https://www.adsrsounds.com/tutorials/

I'd like to bet that (much like most other websites organised by genre) there's an awful lot of overlap, in that each video gets tagged with half a dozen or more different genres, but this approach does instantly imply that there's absolutely LOADS of stuff to look at.

Your web site also has loads of stuff to look at, but (as someone else mentioned earlier) if you can take someone immediately by the hand and guide them to topics that are likely to interest them then you could be halfway to a sale.

Only trouble with this approach is that you need a web designer on hand to keep refreshing things, but Eddy Deegan's comment about a student could be worth following up in this capacity too - with so much existing content on your web site, it would be a great feather in the cap of someone wanting to make a mark near the beginning of their web design career.


Martin

Good insights Martin.

I have always been against tagging the same product across various classifications. I think it's a bit of a con. You do not get repeated content on my site. It would be so easy to use say one of the vocal tutorials that uses reverb in the tutorial and tag it to Effects etc...the same video will end up appearing in different categories. That will make it all look impressive but people would soon get fed up of repeated content across so many categories.

Tom King has been an angel in running the site for free and helping out when needed. I need to let the guy go free lol. I have always struggled with site management be it design or seo. This is why I wanted to take on a partner on a percentage to handle the nitty gritty day to day stuff and I can get on with creating content.

I took a different approach when I set up the Hub as I didn't want it to be genre specific. I wanted the channel to house really professional content that helps budding producers at any level and in any genre. I keep the genre specific stuff to the compilations and video books I create: so, Mixing Hip Hop covers everything needed to run through an Urban mix project. It would be really easy for me to take all the 30 odd videos that accompany the book and release them as individual videos. However, I felt that the processes I cover vary from genre to genre; so I keep general processing tutorials in the Hub and the genre specific content to the video book releases.

I thought that with 200 odd videos, 7 eBooks and 3 video books plus countless articles, blogs etc I would make a half decent living. How naive I have been.

As you know Martin I have always had a real problem blagging my resume. I literally have a mental block when it comes to blagging my abilities. I also never know how to word these kinds of tags.

I am still at a loss as to how to proceed. I don't want to waste any more resources on creating content that sells to a handful of loyal customers. I need to think of way to make the content work for me. Advertising revenue is an abyss of lost investments in that you could spend time and money building a great Youtube channel with 50000 subscribers and the advertising would be a pittance compared to the really big players that are into leisure or lifestyle vlogs. Those dudes have millions of subscribers. In effect, the advertiser can now choose where to advertise and the bar keeps getting set higher as more and more channels gain subscribers.

I think taking on 1-2-1 students is the only surefire way of earning an income but that is dependent on me attracting students to sign up with me.
I still believe the Hub could be better run and with a hundred or so subscribers I could get on with creating content only for the Hub.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Zukan » Wed May 15, 2019 3:55 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:If I put my consultant's hat on, I often get approached by people with online businesses that are failing to perform. I nearly always do not want to deal with them, because there is just too much wrong to even begin to start to fix things. (That and the fact that most of them are already skint!) Rather than criticise what is going wrong in this case, here are the main points I find myself having to make again and again and again . . .

1. Platform. If the website in on some "Create your own website for free!" platform, or is using one of those website builders that allow anybody to just pull-down items in easy steps, it has to come off and be properly hosted. Google doesn't like them! This means starting all over again and from scratch. And when the client says that they don't want to start all over again, that's when we part company (as we do for points 2 to 10).

2. Quality. The website must be assessed by a professional for mistakes, dead links, bad copy, mobile-phone-compatibility, ease of navigation, logical online shop and many other things besides. Very often, the website is a DIY job using unsuitable plugins and apps and some ghastly ready-made theme and needs to be scrapped.

3. SEO. Again, a professional needs to be brought in to optimise the site for SEO. What used to score well, no longer applies, so a DIY approach is doomed from the start. A basic 4-page Wordpress site with good SEO can cost as little as £400, so it is well-worth getting things done properly.

4. Content. Smokey The Bear says "Only YOU can prevent forest fires!" Same applies - only YOU can create good content. Text. Pictures. It's down to the client to create these things! This is all part of SEO - good texts trigger those all-important search engine keywords.

5. Social Media. If you are supposed to be reaching Joe Public (and you are not selling automatic forging machines at $500,000 each to customers that you direct-mail) you must be all over SM. TwitFace, MyFace, FaceOff, YouBlog, InstaCrap and LinkedTube - every day and in every way, you must engage with all the above if you are to create that emotional proximity that turns click-throughs into fans and fans into customers. It worked for Donald Trump, Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj - so what are you waiting for?

6. Faces and Names. The client MUST have an 'About Us!' page - and there have to be faces and names! I mentioned 'Funky Dude' in another (business) thread - he runs a very large investment fund. His name and his face and the names and faces of his team all over their website, together with an interesting and well-written blog. Once again - we are talking about emotional proximity here and without that, you ain't got no fans to turn into customers.

7. Videos. Oh Boy! Everybody and their mothers-in-law are today a Cecil B. de-Hi-Def. Except they are not! Nearly all online videos stink. They ramble on, they are far too long. They are unscripted. They are poorly lit. The sound is dreadful. The camera is hand-held. The mistakes just keep on coming! How-to videos often do not even show the face of the person doing the VO.

8. Call to Action! Kenn Dodd once said, "Who'd have thought that one day we'd see the end to a DFS sale!" Except we never shall! "This week only 50% off!" "2 for the price of 1!" "Just £1 each! As long as stocks last!" "When they're gone, they're gone!" These 'calls-to-action' help push the wavering customer over the line!

9. Money-back-guarantee! What it says on the bloody tin. If the product is generic, i.e. not custom made, the client is FAR more likely to press the 'Buy it Now!' button if he/she is told that if they don't like it, they can always return it and get a full refund.

10. Softly-softly! When I was a furniture salesman (for a while!) the shop used to have a sort of glass funnel by way of an entrance and we put the most enticing things right there in the funnel windows. I stood across the street and watched the funnel. When punters entered the funnel but had not yet gone through the shop doors, I came over, as if I had been on an errand and as I passed them, with a big smile on my face, I invited them in. Each step was a soft enticement to take the next step. So much for free. So much more for free, but with an email. So much as a special introductory offer - and so on! Softly-softly-catchy-monkey!

So there are my ten things that nearly always need fixing in online businesses that are struggling. Miss one out and the business will fail. It's that simple. But getting all ten right is no guarantee of success either!

There has to be a genuine demand for the product or service in the first place! If the punters aren't lined up ten-deep at your door - no chance!

"Build a better mouse-trap and they will come!" only works if the people actually want to catch mice!

Great pointers!

Most of these I have covered. Seo is decent on my site. WP site with all manner of plugins but I still feel WP is not the right platform for my business.

Pivotshare is not that good at all and has little if any SEO tools. No engaging with your subscribers, no news section etc make this literally a place to house content and not much else.

I am all over social media with pages and groups. I hep out in about 5 groups purely to help strengthen my brand. I use social media more than any other medium to generate sales.

Call to action is a regular feature for me with competitors constantly forcing me to run ludicrous sales which I believe work against us one man businesses. I have tried every kind of sale and I even offer free subscriptions and books/videos to my students. With subscribers I keep the fee very low (10 dollars/month) and I believe the content is good. I have been creating how to videos for a long time and the room is fine, the equipment is fine and I believe my delivery is ok. The rest of the points you rasied I have to work on.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Zukan » Wed May 15, 2019 3:57 pm

CS70 wrote:A tough one. There's no recipe in business, otherwise everybody would get rich. There's things that improve your chances and then there's either the lucky break or the continuous, grinding improvement year after year, but starting with (and keeping above) a no-loss baseline.

Tougher still as a one-man gig because you need to work many angles to really improve your chances. Not impossible, at all, but it's a mindset - one that's seldom found in musicians. And it's a hell of a hard work, much harder than any "regular" work.

First of all, who's your intended audience? Absolute beginners, mid-level, experts? That's the basis: the same content can be brilliant or awful depending on who's listening.

Second, is that intended audience big enough?Say you capture 0.1% of the total - would be enough to sustain your business?

My guess would be that people interested in generic courses on subject X are not total beginners (too much commitment for something you ain't yet sure it's gonna be important to you) nor obviously experts at your level (unless you run master classes), but the large bunch of people that's got a bit further, found out they like it and would like to know more, at least for a while. A few interested souls, a few occasional punters, but you cant count on these.

Remember that these people by definition often can't really judge how good a product is - because they don't really yet understand it. Therefore they use proxies: brand, glamour, looks, group thinking, other's opinions etc. People choosing Harvard have never followed lessons at Harvard before (doh!): they go there for the reputation, the implied promise of future success and, to a point, the general look of the place (it bloody looks the part!).

That means that, if you're targeting these people, the quality of the proxies will be as important as the quality of the content (sound awful, innit? Welcome to normal, not-quality obsessed people :-D)

Third, how's the competition for that audience? It's good to have some - the field breakers are seldom successful - but too much competition and you can't survive unless you find or conjure an edge. You have to decide whether or not to stay in that market or try to find another one (but still viable, as per above).

Fourth, is there an edge to be found? Or can you make up edges which are easy to communicate and cannot be copied? In other words, how close to a commodity is your product?

So: find an audience (and ensure it's viable assuming you capture a very small part of it, at least initially, and not over competitive); find your edge; pay attention to the proxies as much as you do to the product itself (that's surprisingly the tough one for any creator!); invest financially in promoting your edge to your audience.

You still need luck - we all do - but still is more of a plan that if you don't think about any of that stuff.

Take Netflix online service: potential audience, enormous - everyone liking movies; competition, relatively limited when they started; proxies - pretty good; edge - amazing, when they started - you don't ave to go rent a video tape or dvd or whatever and bring it back. Luck; yes, they happened to launch in sync with widespread adoption of broadband, which allows theirs service to exist at all.

Now from what I read your main edge is your own experience and nearness with well known acts. That's what distinguishes you from the 16 years old kid with Cubase and a cheap Chinese mic.

What audience will care most for that? Hard to say, but my feeling would be that the lower-knowledge level won't care too much. No matter which names you can drop, in today's billion-information-pieces-world these names won't mean crap to a lot of people. Even if u worked with Madonna. Heck, when Paul McCartney worked with Kayne West, loads of kids had never heard of the former!

So you want to aim to people already a little in the know. Finally, is that audience viable? Not sure, it's your bet. How about the competition? Same same, it needs more research than I have.

An idea could be master classes only - aiming to a smaller market but far more informed (for example I've occasionally looked at the "Mix with the Masters" free videos, and found them interesting, even if I'd unlikely pay for them).

I also like Red Bladder's idea: bundle with something else! The "Mix with the Masters" videos are, insofar I understand, sophisticated props to sell hopefuls a week residency experience with an actual mixing engineer, or associated events. You could try to organize similar events. Or come out with even wackier ideas - what about an audio show across the UK? FInd a bus! :D

If all of that sounds like hard work it's because it is :D

Promotion is expensive and no matter your financial resources, they're a drop in the ocean of the possible ways of doing it... so it works only so long you have a clear idea of what you are promoting, to whom and why..

Best of luck!

Great points CS.

My problem is that I get varying advice from different people and I try to follow all and any advice.

Being a one man outfit is extremely difficult for me. Not only do I physically not have the time to tend to all the various areas you describe but I don't have the knowledge or skills to exploit these wonderful ideas.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Wed May 15, 2019 4:32 pm

A lot of good advice from TRB especially. Here's a few extra/complementary thoughts that may help you.

To expand on the better mouse-trap cliche a little with another well-worn adage: marketing is about making what you can sell not selling what you can make. This is very important and explains many a failed business enterprise quite succinctly.

In other words, you may need to radically change how you present yourself and your offerings and think laterally in order to monetize your skills most effectively. It's no good saying 'this what I do, please buy it'. As TRB said, if the market's not there you won't sell a thing. I have had many a prickly conversation with my clients over the years on this very topic!

That's why the first thing I would do in your shoes is to really get to know the similar businesses online who are doing what you do, but doing it very successfully. Know your competitors inside out. Understand what they do and why they do it.

Subscribe to their YT channels, visit their websites regularly, follow on instagram and Facebook and Twitter, even buy their lessons. Then see how they use the various conversion techniques (via email in particular in this market seemingly) to convert their subscribers and followers to paying customers. Then nick all their techniques.

In the recording sector you'll see people making money from advertising on YT, selling courses, templates, samples etc. A good example of the sharp ones that I consider to be doing it right is The Recording Revolution. https://www.youtube.com/user/recordingrevolutionHe has a good website, really good YT presence, sends informative and useful emails. He uses classic marketing techniques, too, behind his cheery exterior...stuff like long-copy squeeze pages (Google these if you don't know what they are) to convince you to buy, limited time offers, discounts (sorry, you HAVE to offer discounts).

Another one might be Rick Beato who seems to have grown his subscribers very rapidly or, for a UK one on a slightly different topic, Justin Guitar. I was trying to isolate what the successful ones have in common and it's, amongst other things:

* A fairly distinct niche: eg Recording Revolution is very much aimed at the beginner
* A very cheery and TV-friendly personality on video. This is SOOOO vital on YT. Certainly more important than your CV.
* A constant stream of useful, relevant and helpful content. Or simply entertaining content to drive subs. New YT videos every week, new posts on their website/blog every week.
*A constant stream of emails, at least weekly, driving you to YT or website etc
* High production values in their videos and on the website
* A catchphrase or visual gimmick that adds to their distinctiveness
*All their marketing activities interact with each other, constantly looping visitors around from YT, to website, to emails, to facebook, to YT, to website etc etc
*They understand how to put together YT vids to get found, with the right sort of content, presentation, titling and so on. There are endless vids and web pages on how to do this. But again, look at the successful folk and you'll see they all do very similar things
*They have a constant friendly dialogue with YT followers and blog subscribers, they come across as your mate who's happy to help so you feel you have a real 1 to 1 relationship with them.

HTH, cheers
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Zukan » Wed May 15, 2019 4:41 pm

Thanks Huge. Loads to take in.

I feel overwhelmed and rather depressed.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby blinddrew » Wed May 15, 2019 4:53 pm

Sounds like you need a partner Eddie. I'd think about Eddy's advice about seeing if you can tap up a marketing student/graduate.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby The Red Bladder » Wed May 15, 2019 6:09 pm

blinddrew wrote:Sounds like you need a partner Eddie.
No!

I deal with failed website businesses about once a week. The consequences are seldom severe - just, er - well, they range from depressing to disappointing.

I deal with failed partnerships about once every two days. The consequences are almost every time devastating. Livelihoods are destroyed. People lose all they own. Houses are repossessed as a result of partners not talking to one another. English partnership and company law is convoluted and nearly all those who either enter a partnership or become partners in a limited company with shares, fall out in the worst possible way.

Zukan has an interesting problem, but there's no magic bullet. The task at hand calls for some basic market research, followed by (probably) a total restructuring of what he is doing.

As Huge states, make what you can sell. Selling what you can make is 'knitting-shop-territory' and is the reason why most recording studios fail and most musical careers flounder on the rocks of reality!
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Eddy Deegan » Wed May 15, 2019 6:30 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:English partnership and company law is convoluted and nearly all those who either enter a partnership or become partners in a limited company with shares, fall out in the worst possible way.

Just for clarity, I was suggesting an intern / student type paid help arrangement, not a partnership in any true or legal sense of the word. As I said, it did work well for my company as we moved out of stealth mode and started to attract new interest :)
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby blinddrew » Wed May 15, 2019 7:18 pm

Yep, for clarity, i meant a buddy to do the marketing for a cut, not a legal partnership.
Apologies
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Zukan » Thu May 16, 2019 8:26 am

This thread is really helping me. I cannot thank you guys enough for taking the time to help me. I knew I asked in the right place.

Ok, I want to keep this thread going and not just for me. I just know there are many others in the same boat as me and the advice here would benefit everyone.

I am going to rethink my goals and approach to the business, however, I need guidance. Could one of you Jedis have a look at my site and give me feedback re the layout, the wording (I am really bad at condensing paragraphs into power sentences), the content and prices and so on. I know that some of you guys are excellent in understanding the best way to market a product or service. I am terrible at wording product descriptions and my services.

I have checked my Youtube channel using Vidiq and it seems to be ok for keywords, titles etc...and yet I hardly get any views. Anyone here run a commercial Youtube channel that can advise me on improvements I could make to the existing channel and how best to present the content.

I don't want anyone to think I am freeloading here. I am happy to pay for your time. I will now not be migrating the site across to Shopify until I can generate enough interest in my products to warrant the move so I can use the money to better my business. Otherwise, all I am doing is spending a few thousand to move the same low traffic site to another platform.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Martin Walker » Thu May 16, 2019 11:09 am

Zukan wrote:I have checked my Youtube channel using Vidiq and it seems to be ok for keywords, titles etc...and yet I hardly get any views. Anyone here run a commercial Youtube channel that can advise me on improvements I could make to the existing channel and how best to present the content.

Getting views/sales can sometimes be largely out of your hands. Here are a couple of examples from my own experience:

1. Back in the 1980's I wrote five computer games - all got good through to rave reviews (especially the ones I spent ten months or more homing and polishing). However, the one that earned me most money was written to an incredibly tight deadline of just nine weeks so its release coincided with that of a film - the game was called 'Back To The Future'. As others have said before me on this thread, if you have other people 'bigging up' your product it can make a huge difference, even when that product isn't your best work for whatever reason. Sobering but true ;)

2. In August 2016 I published details of my Korg MS-20 Retro Expansion on my own tiny personal website. This wasn't a commercial venture, just a one-off mod for my own use, but I sent the news to the Matrixsynth web site to let like-minded folk find out about it, then Ask.Audio picked up on this the following day and also mentioned it on their web site. I was quite pleased with the number of people who visited my page and emailed me - my tiny personal web site visits jumped from dozens to hundreds per day.

However, nothing prepared me for the result of someone at Korg UK spotting it 11 days later and posting a one sentence mention on their Facebook page. On that single day my page hits jumped to 1000, and then dropped back down to a few hundred each day. That really made me realise that targeting publicity very carefully to the most appropriate audience can make a HUGE difference.

All small fry in the grand scheme of things, but in both cases, the best publicity/sales were effectively down to highly targeted advertising by other people - like you Zuke I'm a modest sort of bloke, and therefore not good at singing my own praises. So, if there's any way anyone here can suggest ways that Zukan can become more focused with his publicity, it might help a great deal.


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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby The Red Bladder » Thu May 16, 2019 12:03 pm

It sounds as if you are asking for some tough love. In which case - it's back to basics time!

BEFORE you do anything whatsoever, you must deal with Question Number One -

Dr Huge Longjohns wrote:As TRB said, if the market's not there you won't sell a thing. I have had many a prickly conversation with my clients over the years on this very topic!
Amen to that!

I have just been dealing with someone who sells roller-blinds. He wants to expand into bespoke internal wooden shutters. Before I even took on the gig, I did a bit of very basic research - is there much of a market for internal shutters?

A Google-session or two later and a few calls to companies offering internal shutters showed me that it is a very small market and that prices are right down to the bone. The wholesale price of these things (and I didn't even know such things existed!) is about $100 per square meter and that is the FoB price from China. So the to-the-door price here will be about double that, by the time we have factored in all the various freight, VAT and other costs, inc. admin.

A simple two-piece hinged shutter for a 120 x 150 window will cost about $180 FoB and $360 to-the-door = £280 gross inc. VAT, if we also factor in the cost of sending them to the customer.

And it hasn't been built yet! It takes a worker just a few minutes to cut-n-glue the parts, so I 'guestimated' £10 total labour costs per part, i.e. £20. His competition was selling them for £600 but has been forced to sell off their stock at half price - £300 gross, which is the cost of importing the parts, cutting them to size and having them picked up by 'My Herpes'.

Simply put, his competition (who are well-established, are already tooled-up, have done all the website stuff, inc. sexy videos of leggy blonds opening and closing shutters and smiling) are selling their stock at cost price!

Conclusion - there ain't no market for quality internal wooden shutters and the £20,000 it would cost for stock and tooling would probably be wasted! (I got two free roller-blinds for that - what with roller-blinds, drummers that can't keep the beat and amateur pipe bands - I'm really living the rock-n-roll lifestyle!)

Now let's look at 'How-to' videos for recording rock music -

Obviously, we go to the second most popular search machine on Planet Earth, YouTube. "getting a great drum sound" gives me THOUSANDS of videos, some boring, long and unscripted and some from top professionals that folks have actually heard of!

Near the top - Chris Lord-Alge. Tight, five-to-six-minute pieces -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdODmoL ... io=1&t=132
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc3SxgT ... Z0&index=3

They are slick, they are professional, they show us the man himself and they get to the point quickly. There just ain't no schlepp in any of that!

But here's the kicker - they're free!

So there's your competition - a three-camera-plus-screen-capture shoot that is professionally lit and has been tightly edited and scripted down to a few minutes, featuring one of the best-known mix guys in the World.

Nearly all his videos feature some goofy product and he is being PAID to use that product, be it a plug from Slate or some BS from Waves or whatever.

As someone who has been involved in language teaching and now music teaching, I could criticise the pedagogical value of his videos for those that genuinely want to learn how to get great sounds the Old-School way. You could possibly say that they are too quick, too slick and rely too much on Magic Zoom-Pills (i.e. some bogus plug-ins!)

The rest of us use samples in the studio and dDrum 'brains' or triggered samples for live work and that spares all concerned a great deal of misery - and money!

Conclusion - From where I am standing, supply seems to be outstripping demand! Yes, there's a great deal you could do about your website, the videos themselves and the structure of the 'sales-pathway', but the question you must ask yourself is "Is it worth it?"
_________________________________

An alternative way forward could be to write a book on the whole subject and bundle that with a couple of DVDs or BluRays, tightly edited and scripted and open a YT channel with very short excerpts featuring a head-n-shoulders of your good self stating "Find out more when you get 'The SampleCraze guide to modern recording'. Hit me up on my website for that!"

The premise being that Old-School recording is dead and people need to find out how to do all the new funky things using MIDI tracks and samples. "Kewl, hip, here, now!
Recording for the Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa, Cardi B. generation!"
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Guest » Thu May 16, 2019 1:03 pm

I spoke to a friend of mine, who is involved in teaching, yesterday about this topic and he had a couple of points about video tuition. One is that as mentioned above: is the video for beginners or professionals, who may decide to record something in a style they are not familiar with? Another point is that the video pace is fixed, it will be too slow for some, too fast for others. He also said there are a lot of people going to colleges, presumably because there you get instant feedback, other students to talk to, you can talk to the lecturer, there is a sense of community - none of this is possible with video.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Eddy Deegan » Thu May 16, 2019 1:19 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:Obviously, we go to the second most popular search machine on Planet Earth, YouTube. "getting a great drum sound" gives me THOUSANDS of videos, some boring, long and unscripted and some from top professionals that folks have actually heard of!

Near the top - Chris Lord-Alge. Tight, five-to-six-minute pieces -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdODmoL ... io=1&t=132
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc3SxgT ... Z0&index=3

They are slick, they are professional, they show us the man himself and they get to the point quickly. There just ain't no schlepp in any of that!

But here's the kicker - they're free!

Pedantic point (sorry!) - they are free, but they are incomplete 'tasters' intended to redirect the viewer to other sites which provide access to the full offerings (I haven't followed all the links but a casual glance would suggest there is probably a payment point somewhere along the line).

Not to detract from, or disagree with, anything TRB is saying; it's obvious he knows what he's talking about :thumbup:

To me it looks as if Chris is doing something not dissimilar to Eddie, albeit with a higher profile, larger organisation and (presumably) backing.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Zukan » Thu May 16, 2019 3:46 pm

I had a long chat with my family about what to do as my vocation directly affects them. They felt that the dire limitations of WP is not worth any further expenditure. They felt that Shopify has better marketing tools, better added functionality which I have almost none of using WP, cross promotion of products, collaborative shared coupons and best of all it has tools that allow me to provide a better service to my customers and the icing on the cake: I can run the subscription channel inhouse..

Today, I asked my WP admin if it was possible to create an opt-in page for emails. I wanted to offer one of my books as a freebie and all they have to do is input their email and they receive a link to the book. He told me it can be done but he's not doing it as he's busy. I offered to pay...nada. I asked if he knew a WP chap that could do this for paid work....nada.

I asked if it was possible to have follow up emails to customers a week after they have made a purchase. The email would ask if the transaction was smooth and without issues and whether the customer could provide short feedback and maybe rate the product he had purchased. I was told none of this functionality exists on my site and would require more plugins and developers to configure them. I then asked if we could do some affiliate agreements; I am an endorsed educator at Acustica Audio and we send customers to each others' sites and it is up to us to issue a 30% discount coupon at checkout. On most sites this is very easy to increment. On my site it is utter hell. If AA send a customer to my site I am then meant to issue them a 30% discount. To do this I need to have the coupons in place. Nope, WP can't do that. As it stands my website can only apply product and system wide coupons on an individual basis. I can't, for example, issue a coupon to use on my site at checkout for the agreed deal with AA. So, we go through this banal process of the customer having to choose a bunch of products, email me with the list, I then have to send a Paypal invoice to the customer for the basket amount less 30%. He then pays. He then emails me. I set up an account for him, send him a confirmation email for his account. Once he confirms I can add the product to his account. This 6 step nonsense has cost me dearly. And it doesn't end there; Samplecraze, as it stands, cannot offer a subscription service so I have had to go elsewhere to set this up, thus Pivotshare. Think about that; a customer wants to join Samplecraze to subscribe and to watch the videos that are on offer. He now has to leave the site, sign up at Pivotshare just to view the same videos that are on Smplecraze because at Samplecraze he is only given the option to by individual videos.

I think you're getting why WP has been a nightmare for me as a business platform. I have probably not only lost many customers but also damaged my reputation as I am not providing a seamless and simple service.

So, today I gave the go ahead to move the site across to Shopify. I can run all the subscriptions in-house, promote coupons with affiliates, have review systems put in place for products (which WP cannot do), have cross selling across the site and so on.

But here is my problem; my site needs better product descriptions, slimmed down and focused content and most of all I need to find out who my target audience is. I started with beginner, intermediate and professional video tutorials and from there moved onto the masterclass series. Because I have so much content aimed at all three levels I am lost as to which to pick and concentrate on that.

I also need my bio rewritten by someone who is good at this ( I have tried many times and failed each time). I need better product descriptions on Youtube and a stronger representation on social media. Again I could do with some help here.

Most of all I need to know how to maximise my Youtube channel which has been left stagnant for 6 months now.

I have tried to study my competitors but it is hard to know how well they are doing. They all make the right noises but I know most are in trouble. I have tried to compare my prices against theirs and I am much cheaper. I have tried to study their format and I like some of the approaches some of these sites have taken. Puremix has a review and rating system in place which really helps to boost sales. I asked for this on my WP site but was told it couldn't be done without additional plugins and someone to configure them.

The example Huge gave to me was Recording Engineer who has half a million subscribers to his Youtube channel and a 1000 subscribers for his monthly mix courses. His website is a very simple WP site with only 4 pages and it looks like someone like me made it. However, the 4 pages are all opt-in linked products for emails, and the rest are testimonials on the 4 products he sells.

My site is jammed with text and irrelevant text. How I describe a product is very different to how Recording Engineer described his content. There is immediacy in his approach with constant reinforcements about what the product is providing. My product descriptions are long and far too detailed.
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